It feels like the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Angels have played 25 times in the last few weeks. They’ll fire up another weekend set, this time at Angel Stadium, with a matchup between Oakland ace Chris Bassitt and Patrick Sandoval, who nearly threw a no-hitter in his most recent start.
The A’s are road favorites behind Bassitt, but this is a line going in the opposite direction of what we would have expected. Those types of line moves are always interesting and we’ll see what happens in this game, as Oakland is down into the -115 range at BetUS Sportsbook with a total that has also come down and sits at 8.
The A’s made their Trade Deadline splash, but the discussion was more about who they gave up instead of who they got. Oakland sent Jesus Luzardo to the Marlins in exchange for Starling Marte and some cash. The rental outfielder will undoubtedly help for this season, but many viewed Luzardo as a piece that could help long-term.
Oakland may still make some moves today before the 4 p.m. Trade Deadline, but Marte and reliever Andrew Chafin have been the two acquisitions so far. This is a solid team and one that looks well-positioned to at least grab the second Wild Card spot and head east for a one-game playoff against either Boston or Tampa Bay.
Marte should provide some offensive punch for a middle-of-the-pack unit that ranks 16th in wOBA on the season. Oakland has hit a bit better on the road than at home, especially in the power department, which is relevant with this game in Anaheim tonight. The A’s also added to what is a solid defensive team with Marte.
The weirdest part about this game is the line move. Chris Bassitt has been a really popular pitcher in the investment community this season, but that is not the case tonight. Bassitt has a 3.46 ERA with a 3.62 FIP on the season. There are no glaring regression signs of any kind in his profile. He’s struck out over a batter per inning and all of his peripherals fall in a pretty normal range.
Three of his last four starts have been a little shaky, as he has allowed 14 runs on 23 hits in 23.1 innings of work. He has also allowed six homers in that span after allowing just nine homers in his first 17 starts. Maybe some recency bias has leaked into the market.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels still boast a top-10 offense, but that unit has started to fall down the wOBA column and the other columns of late. The continued absence of Mike Trout still hurts and the Angels have virtually been without Anthony Rendon for most of the season. He has had three separate IL stints and is back on there right now.
The biggest blow is that the Angels just lost Jared Walsh to a strained intercostal muscle. Walsh, along with Shohei Ohtani, had been carrying this offense. He has a .352 wOBA and a 125 wRC+ with 22 home runs. Right now, the Angels offense is a shell of what it was expected to be, which makes this line movement that much more interesting.
Patrick Sandoval’s emergence has been huge this season for an Angels team that really hasn’t gotten a lot of good pitching performances. Los Angeles has gotten a 3.52 ERA and a 3.97 FIP out of Sandoval, who has 81 K in just 71.2 innings of work. He’s made 11 starts and three relief appearances on the season.
You do wonder about a hangover for Sandoval coming off of the no-hit bid with 13 K against Minnesota. He has struck out 22 in his two starts since the All-Star Break, but did allow six runs in seven innings to Seattle in his previous start. He only threw 108 pitches against Minnesota, so maybe it would be more mental fatigue than physical.
The Angels have not really been a buyer or a seller at the Trade Deadline here, but it would have been nice to see them upgrade a bullpen that has been a major disappointment this year. That group has a 4.82 ERA with a 4.51 FIP on the season.
A’s vs. Angels Free Pick
This line move is still pretty perplexing after running through the handicap, but the move on the under speaks loud and clear, given that Angel Stadium has played much, much smaller this season than in past years. This park is averaging well over 10 runs per game, but the sports betting market influencers have bet this one down to 8 and we’ll follow their lead.
Pick: Under 8